Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club


Sirak: Sabbatini's Self Analysis

April 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- One of the fun things about walking with Rory Sabbatini is that it's like watching TV only with the commentary provided by the player. The guy talks even when there is no one listening. Just ask Tiger Woods, who stopped listening to him some time ago.

On No. 7 Friday at Augusta National, the South African pull-hooked his tee shot into the trees and -- faced with no real option to advance it very far into his own fairway -- played his second shot even farther left, onto the third tee.

Now that's a shot no caddie has in his yardage book, so Sabbitini paced off the 41 yards needed to carry a greenside bunker. The hole was only 15 feet beyond.

"Ah, too hard," he said as soon as the ball left the clubface. "Come back!"

When the ball ended up 25 feet past the hole he switched from entreaty to explanation.

"No benefit leaving it short," Sabbatini said, carrying on his inner monologue in an outside voice. "All you do is make double bogey."

The South African escaped with a bogey, but that triggered a run of four bogeys in six holes that put Sabbatini -- who started this year's Masters by winning the Wednesday Par-3 Contest -- six over par with six hole to play in the second round and in danger of missing the cut.

No winner of the Par-3 Contest has ever gone on to win the Masters in the same year. It appears that jinx will last at least another year.

-- Ron Sirak